Two departments – one from Maryland and one from South Carolina – were honored by the IAFC for innovative programs to save cardiac patients.
The honors went to Howard County, MD Department of Fire and Rescue and Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue.
In 2011, the Maryland folks developed a program and increased training to improve neurologically intact survival for patients experiencing out-of-hospital Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA).
At the request of their County Executive, they have created a community Hands-Only CPR program with the goal to train all Howard County residents and employees in CPR. In addition, partnering with St. Agnes Hospital, they started a pilot protocol to study and improve performance on endotracheal intubation with Glidescope training and deployment.
Over the past three years, Hilton Head Island Fire & Rescue, partnering with Hilton Head Hospital, developed a Comprehensive Emergency Cardiovascular Care Program.
In addition, they formed a multi-disciplinary STEMI and Therapeutic Hypothermia Steering Committee as a forum for stakeholders to address concerns, identify opportunities for improvement, and share data that validates the success of their programs and improves continuing education with feedback to emergency personnel.
Through the STEMI Committee, they obtain DICOM DVDs of the patients’ angiograms on request and develop case studies for paramedics to sharpen their 12-lead ECG interpretation skills and enhance education with the entire department. With the CARES Registry, they monitor every resuscitation attempt, strengthening the chain-of-survival in the community.
The Heart-Safe Community awards received many nominations. The IAFC EMS Section and Physio-Controll said in a statement they congratulate all nominees for their continued efforts in making CPR/AED training, PAD awareness programs, sudden cardiac arrest awareness and STEMI management a priority in their communities.